Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Friday, 19 June 2020

A Heart to Heart with My Friends

Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Hello dear ones! It is a beautiful day here on PEI and I am really enjoying this lovely weather we are having. It is lilac season.

All romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare... perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways. ~ LM Montgomery

I feel I must have a heart to heart with you. I want to confide in you something that not many of you know.

I have been blogging for many years, and I have made some wonderful friends over those years. I met the majority of you when I hosted my Tea Time Tuesday and HOME parties and we have remained friends ever since, even after I had to shut them down. Bless your hearts!

Some of you have gone out of your way to be especially sweet when I was going through my trials three years ago. Thank you! You will never know how much you ministered to me this side of heaven. I just want you to know that I appreciate all your prayers, kind words, and deeds.

But, none of you really know me because of course I don't share very much about my personal life. I don't think many of us do because we want our lives to remain private. There is nothing wrong with that. I wanted my blog to reflect who I am without burdening you with all my issues. We all have our own problems and blogging for the most part is supposed to be fun and it is a splendid way to meet other friends with like interests.

A few of you know that I am living with a chronic illness and life oftentimes can be difficult for me. My faith, my hubby and family, have all made it possible for me to find a little joy in every day.

Blogging in the beginning had become a way for me to express myself after my hubby and I left the Ministry. At our last pastorate, I was the music director and I used to write short stories for the bulletins. When we left, I really missed sharing so  I decided to create a blog and share on that, and here I have been for almost twelve years.

How much longer I will blog, I am not sure. Some days I feel like I have nothing left to share with you. I am not a super mom, an interior designer, a poet, or a teacher. I am just me; a lady who has found peace with God and the world in which I live.

I have learned to be quiet before God and to trust Him to take the reins of my life and guide my sometimes wobbly footsteps. It hasn't been an easy road but I can honestly say that from the very beginning, when I was first diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, I knew that He does not allow us to go through anything alone. He has promised to be with me all the way. 

At the time of my diagnosis, I had one teenager, a pre-teen, and my youngest was still a little boy. On those early days when I didn't think I could go on, all I had to do was gaze into those big blue eyes of my youngest son and it gave me the will to pick myself up and keep going. The enemy tried many times to sift me and turn my world upside down but I knew I had the victory in Jesus because the Bible tells me I do, regardless of my circumstances. If the Word of God says it, then I believe it!

There is still light and joy for me to be found in little every day moments, like pretty teacups. These are a few of my summery ones.  

I believe I could be a model child if I were invited out to tea every day. ~ Anne of Green Gables; LM Montgomery 

If one looks at me on a 'good day', I look as “normal” as the next person. I have what you call an invisible illness, for the most part. You will seldom see me outside of my home on those bad days. Invisible illnesses come in many forms as you know, and there are so many. I know there are those of you out there who suffer much more than I ever will. We do however have many of the same struggles. People look at us and think there is nothing wrong with us because we look “fine.” 
I no longer have to use a cane but my hubby has a strong arm that I can hold on to. And on those not so good days when I must be out, I am thankful for the handicapped sticker which allows me to walk out of the grocery store and get into the car without having to walk too far. I never go shopping by myself because I always have to have someone with me. I can no longer drive a car and haven't in years.

Since I was diagnosed in my mid-thirties, I have developed many more health issues that I am dealing with on a daily basis. It’s not always a fun life but it is my life and I try to make the best of it.

Although I cannot enjoy a lot of the things I used to, I can still enjoy a good book, a cup of tea or coffee, the company of a friend, birdsong outside my window, the lap of the waves on the seashore when I am able to get there; etc... I love watching the goldfinches at the feeders. I don't take life for granted, believe me.
My son sent me this picture of my favourite little feathered friend. Not certain where he got it, off the internet somewhere, but I wanted to share it with you. Isn't he precious? 

I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health! Laughter is good medicine and I am able to laugh pretty much every day. I have a clown of a husband who oftentimes makes it his mission in life to do just that; make me laugh! My children are the same way. They tease me unmercifully at times but it's always done in love. I am blessed, and I adore my family!

Appreciation can make a day - even change a life. ~ Margaret Cousins

I have a very, very small group of friends. About two years after my diagnosis, my very best friend died of breast cancer. I still miss her terribly but I have to live my life because for some reason, I'm still here. Most of the friends I used to have have moved on because, well, I can’t do the things I used to do and I tire very easily. The vibrant, energetic, and very busy woman I used to be no longer exists. In my head, I'm still that young woman but my body has a mind of its own. I understand why my former friends have moved on and I hold no grudge toward them. I honestly do understand! 

So, why am I telling you all this? I guess today, I just want to be real. I want you to know that I have limitations and I oftentimes feel like my creative juices are on vacation. There are days and sometimes weeks; especially lately, that I don't have the desire to blog. My world has become very small the last number of years. So, I have decided to just do a post when I do have something to share. 
Some of you couldn't care less about tea or china or baking or anything else I post about and that's okay. We can't be everything to everyone. There are specific blogs for those other things. 

My world can sometimes be a magical place however because of where I live. Most of you know I live on Prince Edward Island which is famous for Anne of Green Gables and over the years I have shared many posts about just that. Anne inspires me quite often and I am sure you have noticed that I use many of LM Montgomery’s quotes.

Beginning today, I am only going to blog when I have something I would like to share with you. The past several months have been extremely challenging for me, and I have been rather sad and quite weary on account of several factors. One being the loss of family members, and we have another situation coming up which grieves us as well. I have also been very upset over the death of George Floyd and others like him. My heart is grieving. 

I also haven’t been very good at practicing self-care and it is time I start doing that.

So, dear friends, thank you for visiting, thank you for indulging me, and thank you for caring. Most of all, I thank you for your prayers if you feel inclined to pray for me. The Lord bless you and your loved ones! I will be back soon as I am working on another post. Do take good care of yourselves!

There is Beauty to be found in every moment. ~ unknown


Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi

26 comments :

  1. Sandi, thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I always enjoy my visits here; it is such a peaceful and lovely place. That is a huge contribution of yours in such a hectic and troubled world. Thank you for this little oasis. May the Lord continue to bless you and give you great joy as you surround yourself with loveliness -- books, tea, flowers, birdsong, and a wonderful family. Praying for you and for continued strength. xo Deborah

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  2. We love you, Sandi! I have always, always enjoyed my visits with you and all that you have shared over the years. I love tea and teacups and all things Anne, to name a few. Thank you for sharing this very personal post with us today. We hold it carefully in our thoughts as we consider what you have said.

    One thing that jumped out at me, because a long time ago I made a similar decision: "I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health!" When I realized I could make a choice of being happy, I decided that's what I would do. Like you, I have a tease of a husband (in a good way), and even on days when things are grim and grey, I always look for what gives me joy. It's been a habit for decades now. I grin to think you and I share this.

    May the Lord continue to give you his peace and joy 'in the midst'. With love, Brenda xox

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  3. Thank you, Sandi, for sharing your heart with us. I have been worried about you since you haven’t posted in awhile, but I so understand. You gave such a positive attitude about you and I know you enjoy the simple pleasures I life that bring joy. My prayers will always continue for you. God bless you...sending hugs 🤗 and love ❤️.

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  4. Dear Sandi,
    It has always been a privilege as well as a joy to read your blog and feast on the lovely pictures, especially since I don't blog myself. There's nothing to say that hasn't already been said in the previous comments and I sincerely echo their sentiments. This might be cliche, but please know you're in thoughts and prayers.
    Blessings always, Linda

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  5. This was such a wonderful and poignant post...thank you for opening up to us and sharing your innermost struggles. Yes, I will definitely pray for you. I hope that you will continue to blog as often as you are able, because we need to hear from you. We need to learn from your issues as well. Yes, you are right in that we all have our own personal situations...some we can write about and some we cannot share. But for me, writing is a form of therapy. This little group of friends out here in blogland are a source of inspiration and joy to me. There are times that I believe this group of friends is my only true circle of friends. Even though we don't know each other in person, we may know each other better than some of our so-called close friends and family members, because we allow ourselves to dream here and play and share our dreams with others. I believe the person we show here is the person we truly are inside...and I have come to really appreciate that part of you that you share with us. You have inspired me with your lovely tea times and quotes and delicious desserts and how you make things so elegant and special for your family and for us, your friends. I pray that God will grant you the strength to continue on with your writing and sharing life with us. I was first drawn to you because you do live on PEI and have so much to share about Anne of Green Gables. Remember, my mother named me Pamela Anne with an "e" after Anne of Green Gables, and because I had red hair. (sadly faded and mousy brown/gray now). I always wanted to learn more about her, and you have shown me what it really is like to live where Anne lived. Anyway, I will be praying for you, and I hope you will be able to visit with us as often as you feel up to it, but we will understand when you can't. Whatever you have to share with us is okay with us. None of us are professional bloggers here...just friends sharing with friends. God bless you dear Sandi.

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  6. Dear Sandi, Thank you for your transparency, I appreciate your willingness to "Be real", we need more of that in this old world. I believe that when we are transparent, God will use what we perceive as weaknesses to become strength for those that are in need of encouragement. You dearly are a wonderful example of how we should trust in the Lord day by day. I have been following your blog for years because I LOVE Teapots, teacups and anything TEA. I also am a fan of Anne of Green Gables and the beautiful landscapes of where her character lives. When I saw that you lived in that area, I knew that I had hit the jackpot! Tea Things AND PEI ! Awesome! You will be in my prayers dear lady and I praise God for you and your testimony, it has given new meaning to one of my favorite scriptures Psalms 31:24: "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord".

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  7. I love reading about PEI, and your posts are always informative and entertaining. I love pretty tea cups too.

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  8. Sorry, I didn't finish. Most important, take care of you. You are MOST IMPORTANT!

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  9. Sandi, Thank you for sharing your heart. It is difficult to live with a debilitating illness, and although many of us don't really know or understand the pain you are experiencing, we grieve for your loss. One loss I can relate to, is the loss of a best friend. I lost my very best friend 16 years ago. She lost her battle with cancer,and I still miss her so much. She was a person who loved unconditionally, and not many people love like that. If ever you would just like to chat, I'd love to email with you.
    Blessings, Jocelyn

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  10. I always enjoy reading your beautiful posts, Sandi, but totally understand your need to scale down your blogging.

    I'm always thankful by the warm welcome that you extended to me when I first joined the weekly tea parties. I admire your resiliency. I also believe in finding joy in the every day moments in life--this truly has helped me cope with the lockdown over the last 3 months.

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  11. Thank you for sharing and being heartful and truthful. Sometimes when I look at Facebook posts or blogs, the people always seem so happy, and healthy, and it can certainly make me feel like BLAH (why can't I be as happy and healthy as them). I was getting really down about it and thinking I was a nothing to my family. But I finally took a real hard look at myself and realized that I have always been truthful, and remained myself without putting on airs for others. I am truly blessed with having my family (married 38 years, 4 grown children, but no grand kids - lots of grand doggies and grand cats!). And even though I just turned 60 (but from now on will forever be 59!) I have aches and pains like any other person getting on up in years and have suffered loses, heartaches, medical issues, and all other reality of life that everyone else has. You don't have to be perfect to others or keep up to their rate of life. Your life is yours, at your own pace, through your own issues, and even if you feel like you've run out of things to say, remember that your faithful and loving friends will be okay with that and you don't have to write something everyday. I have a few pen pals and sometimes we only write once a year, but they are still in my thoughts as I am in theirs. You need to look after YOU - it is a very stressful, dangerous, and difficult world we are living in with many changes to come (and I hate change!) You are the important one to focus on. You are the one who needs to do what's right for you. Breath in that beautiful P.E.I air, listen to the water hitting the shore (I so miss that, always found the wave of water soothing), enjoy tea in your beautiful tea cups surrounded by the beautiful flowers, read a good book, and listen to your soul. I have enjoyed reading your blog and will continue as you are able. You take care of YOU and God Bless.

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  12. Dear Sandi ~ thanks for sharing your very personal side of life. I have added you to my prayer list. May you continually feel God's loving presence surrounding and flowing through you. Blog when you feel like it. It's always a treat to see the loveliness that surrounds you, to read your quotes and thoughts and to see the delicious goodies you make to have with tea. You are an inspiration to me. Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  13. Dear Sandi....Thank you for sharing your story. Your posts are always refreshing and beautiful so whenever you feel inclined, that will be wonderful. I wish you the absolute best that life has to offer. Susan

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  14. Dear Sandi, I will really miss you. I love your beautiful blog. You are always so positive and you see the wonderfulness of life. Our world has been blessed by you. Please take care of yourself and know that I will pray for you.

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  15. Hi Sandi,

    I'm always interested in your baking and pretty dishes.

    That being said, I know what it's like with having an illness you can't control. It can be a very lonely place and many don't understand. Unfortunately, I think it's because some don't want to take the time to really listen.

    I'm alone most days if the week. Our fur babies keep me on my toes. Blogging has been a help too. Eventhough I'm stronger there's still challenges but I get through so much better now. The virus has made it impossible to see friends or family.

    Three years ago I barely posted do to my health. Things have changed so much with blogging it's sad.

    Cindy

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  16. Dear Sandi, Thank you for your beautiful blog which I have enjoyed reading for several years now. I am so sorry you have health issues but so thankful you have God and your family for support. I hardly comment but wanted to tell you how thankful I am for your blog, for sharing your love of Rose Chintz and mostly for sharing the beauty of life. Life can be very busy and hectic and taking the time to savor that cup of tea, to smile at the birds, to enjoy the beauty around us is so very critical to our health and well being. The quotes that you share never fail to inspire me (and I love Anne!)I wish you peace and comfortable days and will look forward to your posts whenever you feel able to write them. From my heart, thank you for the joy you bring.

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  17. I'm sorry about your illness and struggles. I wish you well. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I love the tea and baking pictures. In this crazy world I've learned the simple things are the best. I looked forward to your blog posts whenever you choose to post. God bless you !!!

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  18. I agree that your blog is a little oasis...Always peaceful and full of beauty,faith and joy.Thank you for your always adorable posts.Thank you for your encouragement.Sending prayers.God bless.

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  19. Sandi, what a open hearted post. Of course we would all love to live in a world of rainbows and unicorn farts. However, life just isn't that way, the bouquets of roses wilt and die, the newest decor becomes dated, the greatest recipe is unhealthy and fattening..., and sometimes we need to walk in eachother's reality. Sharing COPING, is just what it is a share, and sometimes that in itself is helpful to others. So by all means, post teacups and flowers, fill us with Anne's quotes, but by all means share your journey. Who knows whom it will help--and isn't that what we should be doing---helping each other even if it takes rainbows and unicorn farts. Grins and hugs, Sandi

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  20. Sandi, thank you for sharing this very personal part of your life with us. Your lovely blog is a place of refuge for the weary soul...so much beauty demonstrated in your gorgeous photos and words. I was not aware of your health issues but it sounds like you have a wonderful support system. I can certainly relate and like you, I'm at the point where weeks go by in between posts. I agree, the friends that we make through our blogs are just as real as if we know them personally...anyone outside of blogland may find that a bit silly. The prayers and support of these friends have carried me through many a dark day with an uncertain future and I believe that back in 2013 when I started blogging, the Lord knew I would need these precious friends. I will pray that the Father gives you peace and strength and hope to see you back here soon! Many blessings to you, dear Sandi.

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  21. Dear Sandi, I am one of the old days of blogging tea friends! I have no where the challenges you have, but your brave story has resonance for me and my own private sorrows. And connection with blogging. I am almost always at a loss for words to comment and don't do it much, but it always saddens me to know how much has changed from our old golden days of sharing here. It is a generous place among our mostly anonymous friends. I am touched and inspired by your heart to heart. My heart prays for yours. J.

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  22. Dear Sandi, thank you for sharing your heart. We all need to share a little heart to heart at times for sure. And like you said, the most of us do not. I said recently to a friend that we never see or read the oops we've made, the bad and sad parts of our lives nor our deepest struggles. Or I know that I don't and we all have them. I for one appreciate your honesty. I will most certainly lift you up to our Lord Sandi. I am truly blessed by reading this post tonight. May God bless you above and beyond dear lady. Hugs and blessings to you. Cindy

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  23. Sandi: There is nothing wrong with sharing once in a while. I have really cut back so that it isn't always some looming assignment I do pray for your each day and appreciate your sharing. I am sure it has touched everyone's heart!

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  24. Sandiyou are an inspiration to many of us, we are so blessed to be able to visit your beautiful blog. Thank you for your generosity of sharing your beautiful heart.Blessings sweet Lady

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  25. Dear Sandi,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I'm just catching up on blogs after a busy week wrapping up this strange school year, and I'm glad I read this post. I always enjoy your pretty posts, your tea cups and china, and your delicious food. You inspire me with your gentleness and sweet words.

    I have visited PEI just once, several years ago, and love it. After Tim retires we hope to travel out that way again. I loved visiting Anne of Green Gables' site, and seeing the lilacs bloom so wonderfully there. Cavendish Beach was a highlight, too, with the lovely red sand and rock that makes PEI unique.

    May God grant you strength and joy each day.

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  26. Sandi,
    I missed this post but Boy, am I thrilled I found it....Good for you , my friend, teliing your truth...It is sort of liberating, isn't it? even though you and I have spoke frequently about our health issues, I know how hard thsi must have been for you because I know you are a private person..For years, we have spoke about the similarities in our lives including medical issues...My Auto Immune disease causes me to have bad days that i just can not explain to anyone so I know what you are going through...On good days, people do not think there is anything wrong with me and don't understand that I can not tolerate heat and Sun, I can not eat many foods, why I am suddenly cold and then hot..... Blogging has always been my writing outlet so to speak and now that I am retired, I have more time to do the things I love to do and i have been doing just that. I have learned to slow down and take my time and if I do not feel like doing anything on a particular day, i just sit and relax..you can not imagine how hard this was for me at first. Post when you feel like it but also know my dear friend that there are many of us out there who do want to see tea cups, chin, baked goods and hear about your life on your beautiful island....But you do need to take care of yourself...Something that i have also learned to do over the last year or so...Take care , my friend!!!
    Sending you lots of virtual hugs,
    Deb

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I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi